Spotify can put songs in your personalised playlists targeted by your tastes, but a pilot project in Australia is seeing the streaming service inserting songs based on listeners’ location. Specifically those who are within 5km of school zones in Queensland. It’s a partnership with the Australian Road Safety Foundation that “will work to keep kids safe within school zones by dramatically slowing down songs and serving road safety messages to drivers”.

A number of local artists from Queensland are part of the project too: Gizmodo reported that “the songs begin normally before slowing down to 10% of the speed, playing the message, and then speed up to finish. These edited tracks are automatically placed into Queensland user’s playlists”.

There are plenty of questions around this: how Spotify identifies people who are driving versus riding on public transport, for example, and how it limits the number of times people hear the slowed-down tracks if they’re travelling through several school zones. But the use of geotargeting in personalised playlists is interesting too: imagine if a percentage of people’s Discover Weekly playlists were artists from their current location, for example…

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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